Fraud prevention tips to counter COVID-19 related frauds

July 22, 2021

Alberta RCMP is raising awareness of new Covid-19 related fraud in Alberta. The pandemic has led to new types of scams, from March 2020 to February 2021, there were over 10,700 reports in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions. Protecting Alberta’s rural communities is a collective responsibility. The Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch Association provides opportunities and resources for citizens to take action in protecting what’s most important to them. Together with local RCMP detachments, we create a strong awareness and presence of the law and help reduce crime.

Impersonation and identity-related incidents accounted for 19.4 per cent of all reported frauds for that same period. The top ten frauds in Alberta RCMP jurisdiction are as follows:

  1. Money/property/security related fraud that is less than or equal to $5000
  2. Identity fraud
  3. Money/property/security related fraud that is greater than $5000
  4. Identity theft
  5. Theft, forgery, misuse of credit card
  6. Use/traffic/possess a forged document
  7. Illegal possession or trafficking in government documents
  8. Obtain food/lodging by fraud
  9. Fraud, obtaining transportation
  10. Unauthorized use of computer

Tips on how to avoid being a victim of this type of crime:

  • Does this transaction make sense? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Always ask lots of questions.
  • Ignore communication from unknown contacts.
  • Don’t leave personal identification cards in your vehicle. Take all personal information with you when you leave your car.
  • Purchase items from reputable organizations. Don’t feel pressured to say yes. Reputable sellers will allow you time to research the item and verify their claims.
  • Research organizations via the Better Business Bureau.
  • Regularly monitor credit card statements for unknown or suspicious charges.
  • Never send money on a dating site.

This month, follow #kNOwfraud for fraud prevention tips on our social media accounts on Twitter (@RCMPAlberta), Facebook (@RCMPinAlberta). If you have been the victim of a fraud, report it to your local police service and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at www.antifraudcenter.ca or by calling 1-888-495-8501. You should also contact your bank and credit card company if you believe your personal or financial information has been compromised.


Friendly Reminders

Report crime online!

The RCMP are encouraging all Albertans to report eligible crimes online (select property crimes under $5,000). Reporting less serious crimes online helps emergency dispatch and frontline members focus their time on high-priority calls. It provides a convenient way to share photos to the RCMP as well. These reports assist in crime analysis, aid in establishing trends and patterns, and ultimately leads investigators to the chronic offenders. It also assists in making decisions about how and where to deploy resources. Crimes reported online will be taken just as seriously as crime reported in any other way.  

Help reduce crime, report online! #ReportSmart

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Please share our social media accounts with your friends and family. Protecting Alberta’s rural communities is a collective responsibility. The Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch Association provides opportunities and resources for citizens to take action in protecting what’s most important to them. Together with local RCMP detachments, we create a strong awareness and presence of the law and help reduce crime.

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